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Pathway to Citizenship

These are the magic words.

Pathway to citizenship is the pillar of immigration report.

It is pretty much set in stone. Latinos remember Donald Trump launching his campaign fourteen months ago with guns blazing – build the wall, Mexico will pay for it, rapists, deportation squads, Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Latinos are now positioned to vote in record numbers percentage-wise for Secretary Hillary Clinton. Now Trump is saying he is willing to “softening” his position on immigration because his campaign sees the writing on the wall in the Latino community. It is not going to work.

Trump won his primary in large part due to his demonization of Mexican immigrants and Latinos will not forget. Plus, pathway to citizenship is the key to immigration reform and this is something Trump and the GOP vehemently oppose. Here is from the GOP platform:

We oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it.

Like I said, it is pretty much set in stone and Latino voters are not going to fall for a “softening” of language or tone or wait for a “to be determined” insult.

Usually, in a presidential election, there is a healthy contingent of Latino GOP activists going out there serving as surrogates for their nominee. I’m not seeing them this time around. Where are they? Are they even out there?

Now look at this. Jorge Ramos has an essay today in Time on Trump. Here are parts:

It doesn’t matter who you are—a journalist, a politician or a voter—we’ll all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump. Like it or not, this election is a plebiscite on the most divisive, polarizing and disrupting figure in American politics in decades. And neutrality is not an option.

The day after the election will be too late.

And:

Regardless of whether Donald Trump wins or loses, we will be asked on November 9th: What did you do? Did you support him? Were you brave enough, ethical enough, to challenge him when he insulted immigrants, Muslims, women, war heroes and people with disabilities? Are you on the record correcting his lies? Did you discuss with your friends and family that in a democracy like ours there is no room for racism and discrimination? Or did you just seat idly, silently, allowing others to decide the future of the United States?

Because you will be asked.

And:

There have been two crucial moments in which even Trump supporters couldn’t defend their own candidate: when he questioned judge Gonzalo Curiel’s capacity to rule in a case in which he was involved simply because of his Hispanic ethnicity and when he criticized the silence of a Muslim-American woman, Ghazala Khan, who had lost her son, a U.S. soldier, in the Iraq war. Those moments proved to be too much even for the most loyal party members.

And:

Judgment day is coming. Will you have peace of mind come November 9th?

Here is the entire Ramos essay: http://time.com/4463366/jorge-ramos-donald-trump/?xid=tcoshare.

Trump is the one who went after us.

Jose Altuve leads MLB in base hits with 180 and in batting average at .363.   Who led MLB in these two categories last season?

HTX?   The local Super Bowl Committee wants to erect a huge “HTX” sign in front of the GRB Convention Center during the Super Bowl festivities next year. HTX? We are not HTX? We are H-Town. A lot of local folks didn’t react too kindly to the unveiling of HTX. Hey, but don’t worry, the folks that run the local Super Bowl Committee are smarter than the rest of us. Here is the Channel 13 post on the HTX thing: http://abc13.com/society/houston-super-bowl-plans-raise-unintended-controversy/1481662/.

Just an FYI: If the ‘Stros pull a comeback of sorts and make the playoffs as a Wild Card team, the AL Wild Card game will be played the same evening as the Vice-Presidential Debate on Tuesday, October 4. Just so you know.

Last season, Miguel Cabrera led MLB with a .338 batting average and Dee Gordon led in base hits with 205 of course.

Last night’s game was kind of over after the first inning and we fell a game in the Wild Card race. The last game of the current roadie starts at around 11:30 this morning.

Eleven Weeks

We have eleven more weeks until Election Day.  I wish we could vote tomorrow.  The drip, drip of emails is getting under my skin.

Have you wondered lately how Secretary Hillary Clinton would be doing if she had not gone the private server route?

Check this tweet:

@realDonaldTrump 53m53 minutes ago

It is being reported by virtually everyone, and is a fact, that the media pile on against me is the worst in American political history!

What a tool.

Commentary is glad to hear that Hillary will be calling out this tool on Thursday. Subject matter: the Alt-Right and white supremacists taking over his campaign. That is who he is. It is about time.

It was comical yesterday watching the Trump folks try to figure out what to say on immigration. They think that Latino voters will take a second look at this guy. Sure.

Yulieski Gurriel, the new ‘Stro from Cuba, is wearing the number 10. Name the four past ‘Stros who wore the 10 who also were named to the NL All Star Team?

Add another GOPer to the Hillary endorsement list. From Politico:

Former President George W. Bush’s Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy is the latest high-ranking Republican to announce his support for Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. 

James Glassman, who is also the founding director of the George W. Bush Institute at the former president’s library in Dallas, told MSNBC Monday evening that Clinton is “by far the superior candidate.” 

“She has the experience. She’s got the character. She has the values,” Glassman said. “She is the kind of candidate I support and that, as I say, millions of republicans are supporting.” Nice:

Commentary forgot to mention that you have to check out the new HISD superintendent singing a Mariachi tune and playing the fiddle over at HISD the day he was hired. The fella can belt it for sure. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhKLrSMRtw8.

NL All Stars Rusty Staub, Dickie Thon, Mike Hampton, and Miguel Tejada of course wore the number 10 as ‘Stros.

Carlos Gomez will soon be in a Rangers uniform. We released him a few days ago because he wasn’t hitting. Got it?

We have now won four in a row and hanging in there in the Wild Card hunt. Two more at PNC and then we come home.

Trump and Latinos

Yesterday we gathered in Baytown to celebrate my Dad’s 93rd birthday. Nice!

Deportation of millions is a cornerstone of the Donald Trump campaign. That is in part how he got the Republican nomination. Trump had his first (less than three months before the general election) outreach meeting with the Latino community at Trump Tower this past Saturday. One of the attendees was my pal Jacob Monty, an attorney from H-Town. Later that afternoon, Univision reported that Jacob said that at the meeting Trump said he was open to legalization for the million. That’s a dramatic shift from deportation.

Here is from the Washington Post:

Late Saturday, BuzzFeed and Univision reported that Trump backed away from that rhetoric at a meeting with a group of newly announced Hispanic advisers, appearing open to a plan to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants that is not deportation.

“Importantly, Trump did not explicitly use the word ‘legalization’ at the meeting, but sources in the room said they feel it is the direction the campaign is going,” BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo reported.

Univision, meanwhile, reported that three attendees said Trump “plans to present an immigration plan in Colorado Thursday that will include finding a way to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.”

Trump advisers were asked Sunday to respond to the reports, and they didn’t exactly reject them.

Asked twice whether he was sticking with his plan for a deportation force, newly installed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected and then told CNN that it was “to be determined.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., meanwhile, said Trump is “wrestling” with how to handle illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“What I’m certain about is that he did not make a firm commitment yesterday, or the meeting the other day, about what he will do with that,” Sessions said on CBS News when asked whether Trump still supports deporting all 11 million. “But he did listen, and he’s talking about it.”

Trump’s campaign is playing down the reports and says nothing has really changed. But it clearly has. Even in equivocating and saying it’s “to be determined,” the campaign is striking a far different tone than Trump has before. Conway was twice given the chance to reiterate that Trump will deport all illegal immigrants, and she didn’t.

And, to be clear, that has been Trump’s position.

Anything else would present a major change from a guy whose primary victory and 2016 campaign writ large have been defined by his hard-line immigration stance.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/nation/article/Trump-hints-at-wavering-on-call-for-mass-9176328.php.

To be determined? I would say that as a Latino I am insulted, but I am not. Conway and the Trump campaign have no clue. Outreach with Latinos at Trump Tower? Really?

Trump is now saying this morning that nothing has changed from his original position on deportations. I mean, if he flip-flops on deportations, where do his white supremacists supporters go?

I don’t even know why he wasted his time meeting with Latinos.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO also had a take on this in Politico today. Here are parts:

“You know what, as I said a year ago right here on MSNBC, you can’t unring the bell with the Hispanic community,” said Javier Palomarez, the chamber’s president and CEO, during a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

And:

“Donald Trump began his political career by denouncing and insulting Hispanics all over this country,” Palomarez said. “This is a case of too little, too late. This is a very desperate candidate. And no speech is going to change that now.”     

Commentary is thinking that Trump himself probably gave the order not to send him to communities of color. He hasn’t been in our community. Same goes for the African American community.

Name the two ‘Stros player with over 80 RBIs this season?

A Yahoo sports columnist doesn’t think much of our GM. Check this:

On Thursday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports published an interview with Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow. The interview mainly focused on the troubles the team has encountered after their success in 2015 (brought on by several years of strong rebuilding). But the interview began with Luhnow venting his frustration about the current state of no-trade clauses, which have made his job difficult in the last year.

But, oh, how everything could have been different if Cole Hamels didn’t exercise his no-trade rights when the Philadelphia Phillies were traded to the Astros a year ago, and Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy wouldn’t have vetoed a deal two weeks ago to the Cleveland Indians.

“It changed,’’ Luhnow said, “everything.’’

Cole Hamels accepted a trade to the Texas Rangers in July 2015, as did Jonathan Lucroy a year later. Since both those players went to the Astros’ cross-state rival, Luhnow is looking at what might have been if neither player had no-trade clauses; Hamels would be in Houston against his will, and Lucroy would be in Cleveland in the same situation.

No-trade clauses have been popular in recent years as players have demanded them as part of their contracts. Players often formulate a list of teams that they will not approve a trade to, though sometimes trades to those teams can happen if the player allows it. Hamels decided he didn’t want to play for the Astros, so he ended up going to the Rangers. Lucroy didn’t like the future catching situation in Cleveland, so he rejected that offer before accepting one to the Rangers.

“So we’ve had two deals not accepted by the player,’’ Luhnow told USA TODAY Sports, “that has directly impacted us the last two trade deadlines.

“That’s why I sure wish teams wouldn’t give out no-trade clauses.’’

But no-trade clauses aren’t the only thing that could stop players from going to Houston if they didn’t want to. MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement also grants players 10-and-5 rights. From Article XIX Section A Subsection (1):

The contract of a Player with ten or more years of Major League service, the last five of which have been with one Club, shall not be assignable to another Major League Club without the Player’s written consent.

So a player like Justin Verlander, who has 11 years of service time with the Detroit Tigers, couldn’t just be traded to any team. Thanks to that rule, he has some control over where he goes. He could veto any and every trade the Tigers brought to him from now until the end of his career.

In all, it’s a terrible reflection on the Astros as an organization. In a time when players at all levels are consistently being treated as properties rather than human beings, Luhnow is resentful that a baseball player can decide if he wants to go play for a team. This was a huge issue in the early days of baseball, and all the way through the mid 1970s after Curt Flood finally challenged the restrictive reserve clause, leading to its overturn in 1975. The only thing missing from Luhnow’s quotes was a reference to “the good old days” when players had zero say in anything they did.

Instead of being frustrated that some players can choose not to play for the Astros, he might want to take a look at why players are making that choice. The team has a considerable amount of talent, and one of the five (or even three) best players in all of baseball in Jose Altuve. Could it be, perhaps, that the front office hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory? From the Brady Aiken ordeal to the hacking scandal, they haven’t looked good. And more than any other franchise, they’ve developed a reputation for treating players as commodities.

No matter how much Jeff Luhnow hates no-trade clauses (not to mention other rules that would stop players from being involuntarily traded to the Astros), nothing’s going to change. Players can and will continue to request no-trade clauses when they sign contracts, and teams will give them out because that’s the cost of doing business. And 10-and-5 rights certainly aren’t going away anytime soon. The best path for Luhnow would be to figure out what exactly would make players want to come to the Astros. Until he susses that out and starts fixing it, he might want to steel himself for more disappointing trade deadlines.

Ouch!  That hurt.

Carlos Correa has 86 RBIs and Jose Altuve has 82.  Both could reach 100.

We are still in it I guess. We won our last three. Now we go to PNC for three.

End It, Please

FYI: President Bill Clinton is 70 today. Happy Birthday!

This is from CNN yesterday:

The Clinton Foundation said Thursday it will not accept foreign or corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president in November.

The decision comes amid intensifying scrutiny over the foundation’s practices as Republicans use its connections to wealthy international players to attack Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Bill Clinton also plans to cease giving paid speeches — another move intended to prevent further accusations of cronyism.

The Clinton Foundation and the emails are Clinton creations and big time vulnerabilities. I would rather have the White House than the foundation. I really hate to say this. If Hillary wins, I would hope that they just shut down the foundation. Why risk a second term? Just saying.

The fading ‘Stros are 61-60. What was our record last year after 121 games?

Well at least he can sing. Commentary is talking about the new HISD superintendent. At his debut last night, he belted out a mariachi tune. Lot of folks have given him advice on how to do his job. My three cents: Just don’t be arrogant and be a leader.

I watched the following last night. It lacked sincerity. Here is from CNN:

Donald Trump on Thursday shelved his guiding mantra — never back down, never apologize — and did what he has refused to do in public in more than a year of campaigning.

He expressed regret. 

Trump, reading from prepared remarks Thursday night, acknowledged that he sometimes says “the wrong thing” in an astonishing act of contrition that signaled Trump’s willingness to break from his characteristic brashness and bare-knuckles style that carried him to victory in the Republican primaries, but risks dooming him in the general election. 

“Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues,” Trump told supporters here.

Uh, sure! That’s not going to last. You can tell he doesn’t like using the teleprompter.  The guy has been all over the map on everything.

So this morning he tweets this:

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 40m40 minutes ago

The reporting at the failing @nytimes gets worse and worse by the day. Fortunately, it is a dying newspaper.

Nice.

If Team Clinton had a senior advisor with a past of helping out a pro-Russian political party in the Ukraine, the Fox News talking heads would be all over this. Just saying.

Then this happened:

Fox News ‏@FoxNews 17m17 minutes ago

Manafort resigns from Trump campaign amid more questions of Ukrainian political ties http://fxn.ws/2bPjJC7

Now that’s what I call stability.  Meanwhile, it looks like the Trump campaign is making the play to take Travis County. Who’s in charge now?

Last season, the ‘Stros were 66-55 after 121 games of course.

Yeah, I know. We can turn it around. I am disappointed with the team. I am more disappointed with the front office. I feel like they have let me down

Want to know what’s in store for the Donald Trump campaign between now and November 8? Just go to http://www.breitbart.com/. It is a very spooky website. I thought about this most of the day yesterday, so just get ready for the kitchen sink. Trump bringing on this Breitbart fella is unconventional for sure.

I was wondering what mainstream GOP consultants were thinking about Trump and the Breitbart fella, Steve Bannon, and I saw this from GOP consultant Rick Wilson who also happens to be helping an independent presidential candidate:

“If you were looking for a tone or pivot, Bannon will pivot you in a dark, racist and divisive direction. It’ll be a nationalist, hateful campaign. Republicans should run away.”

Come on!  Best I can tell, the fella has never been involved in running political campaigns.  Now he is helping run a presidential race?

Look for the Trump campaign to blow things up and hope that they are the only ones left standing. Like I said, this isn’t conventional. Kind of scary.

You need to check this for more on what to expect: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Breitbart-and-the-Trump-campaign-9155377.php.

This is kind of an interesting question today. This is what Chron sports columnist Brian T. Smith said today about the ‘Stros: “Wednesday’s lineup had AAAA written all over it.” What does Smith mean – I think?

Here is a bonus question. Robert Redford is celebrating his 80th birthday today. What was the name of his baseball team in “The Natural?”

Really? Breaking news? The Ryan Lochte stuff is now trending #LochteGate or #LochMess and even #Watergate. Really?

The HISD Board of Trustees will hire a new superintendent today. Good luck!

Roy Hobbs of course played for the New York Knights.

AAAA means that a player is too good for Triple A ball but not ready for MLB level ball. FYI: AAAA ball does not exist of course – got it?

This is the headline of the hard copy of the Chron’s Sports Section today:

Not quite done, but fork hangs overhead

They are talking about the ‘Stros. That’s where we are at today

Campaigning

Let’s see. Donald Trump is I guess pulling the older women are not fit to serve card by saying Secretary Hillary Clinton lacks “stamina.” Let’s see. She has been going non-stop since 1991. As Secretary of State she traveled to a kazillion countries while Trump has to go home and sleep in his Trump Tower bed every night. Got It.

Trump says he is raising a lot of money but has not spent any on TV ads as he slides down in the polls. It would not surprise me if Trump hoarded the dough and then paid himself off for money he spent in the primaries.

Commentary was at The Yard last night when Jose Altuve got his 1,000th base hit. Of the 1,000, how many are singles, how many are doubles, how many are triples, and how many are dingers? (The answer is in the Chron today.)

Secretary Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that former U.S. Senator and Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar would chair her Transition Team. He is a well-respected Latino. Compare it to Trump naming blowhard Chris Christie to chair his.

Trump had another campaign shake-up at the top. Sorry, that is not the shake-up that is needed. Trump himself needs to be shaken up, but this is what he said yesterday:

“I don’t wanna change. Everybody talks about, ‘Oh well, you’re gonna pivot, you’re gonna’ — I don’t wanna pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.”

Oh yeah. I forgot. Former Governor Rick Perry is also auditioning for a job in a Trump administration. He also took the low road on CNN yesterday. Here is from the Trib:

Former Gov. Rick Perry inserted himself Tuesday into the ongoing controversy over Donald Trump’s handling of criticism from the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, saying the father was to blame for speaking at the Democratic National Convention.

Speaking on CNN, Perry said the father should have expected some reaction to his words. “In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you,” Perry said.

While politicians from both sides of the aisle took Trump to task for criticizing the family of Khizr Khan, Perry made clear he was backing Trump. Speaking of Khan, Perry said, “Why in the world that he thought he was going to get a free ride with that is beyond me. He shouldn’t get a free ride when he’s going to inject himself into the political arena.”

What a tool!

You have to hand it to Donald Trump. Bringing in the poster boy for workplace sexual harassment to help save your campaign. I am talking about Roger Ailes or Nick Anderson’s Roger the Hutt here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/anderson/article/Roger-the-Hutt-9146550.php.

Outstanding and gross work by Anderson.

Six points over Texas. I am talking about the latest poll in Texas.

From Erica Grieder of Texas Monthly

This morning, a new survey from Public Policy Polling startled national observers with an update on the state of play here in Texas, the most notorious red state in the union. With less than three months to go until the general election, Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by just six points, 44-38.

It’s just one poll, of course, and with a 3.2 percent margin of error, the spread may actually be larger. But still the poll confirms some ominous trends for the GOP. Readers may remember that I wrote, back in May, that Clinton had a chance of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes this year. My reasoning was as follows. First, I thought it was a safe bet that Trump would underperform Mitt Romney, who won 57 percent in Texas in 2012. That is obviously the case, here and elsewhere; interestingly, as Nate Cohn wrote last week, the redder the state, the more visibly Trump underperforms. Second, I thought the Libertarian candidate could pick up a significant number of Republican defectors, between 5-8 percent; Gary Johnson is at 6 percent in the new PPP poll.

And third, I thought Clinton could be expected to at least match Barack Obama’s performance in 2012, when he captured 41 percent of the vote in Texas. I still think that’s the case.

Here is the entire Grieder take: http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/donald-trump-turning-texas-purple/.

Jose Altuve has 733 singles, 194 doubles, 18 triples, and 55 dingers of course.

We lost last night. Every time I do a take on our fading hopes we come back and win a few. Our hopes are fading.

On Oh, Says

Commentary doesn’t put his hand over his heart for the playing of the National Anthem at The Yard. I sing it and one of the few (if not the only one) in my section that sings it.   I had to look up National Anthem etiquette on the internet the other day to find out that the hand on the heart deal is Anthem etiquette. I am going to continue to do it my way and I mean no disrespect because I sing it.

Gabby Douglas, the 2012 All Around Gold Medal gymnast, is African American. Last week, she was roundly and may I say unfairly criticized for not having her hand on her heart when they played the National Anthem at the awards ceremony when Douglas and her fellow teammates were awarded the gold. You gotta be kidding, right?  She instead stood at attention.

A few nights later, I was watching Michael Phelps on the medal stand after being awarded the gold and he started laughing during parts of the Anthem. Phelps is Anglo and didn’t get any criticism. He’s Michael Phelps.

Just saying.

Speaking of, I have noticed that some of the U.S. gold medal winning Olympians sing along with the Anthem and some don’t.

After September 11, on Sundays and on holidays, at MLB cribs in the U.S., MLB started to have someone lead the singing of “God Bless America.” At The Yard, the PA announcer asks folks to stand up and remove their lids. It didn’t used to be that way.

Jose Altuve is sitting on 997 career base hit as a ‘Stro. He ranks 13th all time for base hits as a ‘Stros. Who is number 12 at 1,037 base hits as a ‘Stro? Hint: He is no longer with us.

The Texas Ethics Commission is looking at more transparency when it comes to campaign expenditure reporting. No more giving a big check to the consultant and not detailing the actual expenses. I can handle this. This should be a no brainer. Who would be opposed other than consultants and consultants aren’t supposed to wield the type of power to prevent disclosure. It might be more paperwork, but the process should be more open. Here is from Ross Ramsey of the Trib:

People get away with all kinds of stuff in campaign finance.

You suspected this, probably, but an item on the agenda of Monday’s meeting of the Texas Ethics Commission offers some evidence.

The title is unalarming: Expenditures involving consultants. The proposed rule sets out to require political consultants to report their spending in the same way that candidates are required to do. Consultants wouldn’t have to report everything — just the spending that’s done at the direction of the candidate or officeholder for whom the consultant is working. The rule says the candidates and officeholders filing campaign reports have to reveal what their consultants are spending as if the filers themselves were spending it.

If you buy an ad in the newspaper, you have to report it. If you pay a consultant who then buys an ad in the newspaper, you don’t. The proposed rule would require the consultant’s spending to be detailed in the candidate’s campaign finance report.

The state is trying to regulate what some have called the “campaign in a box,” when a candidate reports writing one big check to a consultant, who then handles all of the campaign spending off the books.

This is one of those times when seeing a rule or regulation opens your eyes to a vast range of tricks open to practitioners of the activity being regulated.

Campaigns can hide almost anything: how much they spent on TV, whether there’s an astrologist on the campaign staff, who stayed in what hotel in what city while they were out trying to get their candidate elected.

“It’s been going on since before I was in politics,” says Harold Cook, a Democratic consultant who’s been either watching or participating in campaigns for several decades.

This is hardly new. Campaigns have been hiding their expenses forever. Still, it’s possible under Texas law to run a campaign that makes its legally required disclosures without really telling you anything.

Here is the entire Trib article:

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/08/15/analysis-hiding-texas-campaign-spending-details-le/.

Campaigns should have to disclose generally how the money is being spent. You know- media ads, mail, print, staff – you get the picture. I wonder who is going to lead the effort to kill this proposal. I hope they are identified just so we can know

Ken Caminiti of course had 1,037 base hits as a ‘Stro and is number 12 on the list.

We have a brief homie.   Just two games with San Luis. Keuchel goes tonight. We have to win.

 

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